Celtic claimed an unprecedented third consecutive domestic treble after coming from behind to win the Scottish Cup by beating Hearts 2-1 thanks to Odsonne Edouard’s double at Hampden on Saturday.
The Hoops were on course for a first domestic cup defeat in 27 games when Ryan Edwards shot Hearts into a shock lead seven minutes into the second half.
However, Celtic quickly responded when Edouard levelled from the penalty spot and the Frenchman sealed another clean sweep of silverware by racing clear to score the winner eight minutes from time.
Uncertainty still surrounds who will be the Celtic manager next season with this Neil Lennon’s final match in charge as caretaker.
Despite consolidating an eight-point lead when Brendan Rodgers left the Scottish champions to take charge of Leicester in February to win an eighth straight Scottish Premiership, and now the Scottish Cup, Lennon has faced criticism for his side’s performances and style of play.
Celtic were again disjointed for long spells and could easily have been beaten but for a bit more quality and composure from a Hearts side missing a host of key players through injury.
Edouard had the only decent chance of a poor first 45 minutes when he was played in by Tom Rogic, but John Souttar slid in to make a brave block.
Hearts had not won in five games since their semi-final victory over second-tier Inverness, but they made the breakthrough with their first big chance of the game.
Sixteen-year-old Aaron Hickey fed Arnaud Djoum on the edge of the area, his miscued shot found its way to Sean Clare who backheeled to find the free Edwards to slot home.
Celtic seemed to need the shock of going behind to snap into action and levelled within 10 minutes.
Edouard was tripped by Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, although contact was minimal and referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot.
Zlamal could have made amends, but did not get a strong enough hand to Edouard’s penalty to keep it out.
Celtic paid a club record £9 million ($11 million) for Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain 11 months ago and he took his tally for the season to 23 when Mikael Lustig’s forward header somehow evaded the whole Hearts defence.
Edouard kept his cool to slot past the advancing Zlamal and seal Celtic’s sixth domestic treble.
By Dominic C. Odoh
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